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Responsible Lawn Care to Protect Our Water Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Responsible Lawn Care to Protect Our Water Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Responsible Lawn Care to Protect Our Water Resources

2 What does the MWSP do? Provide information & assessment tools that assist pesticide & fertilizer users in identifying groundwater risks coordinate resources to reduce those risks pollution prevention through education, not regulation!

3 What is the focus of the Program? Voluntary adoption of watershed best management practices – stewardship through education –homeowners –farmers –turf –students

4 Home*A*Syst site evaluation hazardous household products household trash yard & garden care storm water drinking water well septic/wastewater liquid fuels

5 Risks at the Home Site Yard & Garden –fertilizer &/or pesticide entering a water source application around a drinking water well direct application into surface water (lake, river, stream, pond, etc.) indirect application into surface water through runoff –over-application –spills on impervious surfaces

6 Lawns Reduce fertilizer needs by: –Keeping the lawn mower blade sharp have it sharpened several times per year to avoid stress –Mowing no more than 1/3 of the blade off ideal length is 2 1/2 to 4 inches high to avoid stress & disease Water according to soils –sandy soils require more water than loamy soils Light, frequent watering –several applications of 1/10 to 2/10 inches per week is better than one heavy application –total should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches per week

7 Fertilizers Before applying, GET SOIL TESTED! Shoreline Owners?? Fertilizers should only be used when soil test results indicate specific nutrient needs Look for N,P,K numbers on the package –tells the percent of nitrogen (N) - growth of leaves & stems phosphorus (P) - flowers, fruits, seeds, roots potassium/potash (K)- disease resistance

8 Which fertilizer is best for me? It depends! –Apply according to soil test results –Dont apply what your soils dont need! –Apply according to the labels instructions MORE IS NOT BETTER! –Apply according to your site (shoreline?) Read the Label! –How much to use –How frequently to apply –What equipment to use –Nutrient & micronutrient content –Protective equipment –Spreader settings (sometimes)

9 Pesticides Before applying chemical pesticides, identify your pest! –MSU Extension; IPM Applying a general pesticide may eliminate beneficial insects as well as your pest. Read the Label –be sure that the label states that it will control your specific pest –if it doesnt say it controls your pest, then it probably wont!

10 Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides & Fertilizers Pesticides –weed sticks –mole traps –sticky boards for flies –hand removal –caulking –tangle foot –resistant plants –predator pest –barriers Fertilizers –organic manure bloodmeal lawn clippings remember… organic fertilizers can still cause water quality problems, so they will not solve all your problems!

11 Pesticide & Fertilizer Safety protecting your water quality and you! Protecting Yourself –minimum: long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, shoes –additional: gloves and boots (not cloth or leather), hat (with brim), goggles, respirator –caution, warning, –caution, warning, danger Protecting Your Site –fill on an impervious surface, then clean up spills –store fertilizers, pesticides & chemicals in secondary containment –have a spill kit

12 Your Lawn has the Ability to: Filter contaminants from rainwater and the atmosphere Absorb nutrients and prevent losses to the groundwater Reduce runoff and erosion Absorb heat, light and noise Provide an ideal surface for recreational activities

13 How can we reduce home risks? Clean Sweep Program –FREE disposal of pesticides –by appointment only; call 773-9631 –anyone in Michigan Household Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Days –FREE disposal of household hazardous waste –by appointment only; call local health department for dates –anyone in Arenac, Bay, Midland, or Saginaw counties

14 How can we reduce home risks? Complete a HOME*A*SYST –FREE to anyone in Michigan –assistance is available along with a wealth of helpful information! –Visit the new Michigan Water Stewardship Program website featuring an online interactive training program for home owners and residents of Michigan! –www.???.org

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